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My virtual Davos

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Paul Mason | 14:14 UK time, Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Due to the BBC's rule about not sending zillions of people to the same event, I am not at Davos this year. However I can share with you highlights of today's programme.

7am. Pro-am Celebrity currency policy snow wrestling: Tim Geithner vs Wen Jia Bao.

9am. Aideed Valu, CEO of major consultancy firm reveals startling insight that tough times bring out the best in corporate global leadership.*

11am. Gordon Brown hails the birth of a new global order. Nouriel Roubini predicts 10 year slump.

12 noon. How the crisis is pushing a billion towards starvation in the developing world. Various religious leaders and celebrities in conversation.

1pm British themed Lunch. Whitstable Oysters (Protected Geographical Indicator); Scotch Beef (PGI) Jersey Royal Potatoes (Protected Designation of Origin). Kentish Ale (PGI) Dorset Blue Cheese (PGI).

1.30 Discussion. Why we must avoid trade protectionism at all costs

2pm David Barcode, CEO of major supply chain management firm gives seminar: tough times mean only those who automate their supply chains will survive.

3pm Keynote: Vladimir Putin (please bring a torch to this venue and dress warm as the lighting and heating have been playing up)

3.20 Optional flight to Zurich for delegates' to make fact-finding tour of private banking district.

* For the ironically challenged I will point out this is meant to be a spoof.


  • Comment number 1.

    "1pm British themed Lunch. Whitstable Oysters (Protected Geographical Indicator); Scotch Beef (PGI) Jersey Royal Potatoes (Protected Designation of Origin). Kentish Ale (PGI) Dorset Blue Cheese (PGI).

    1.30 Discussion. Why we must avoid trade protectionism at all costs"

    Oh, you cheeky scamp - you'll go straight to bed without any supper for that one !

    Anyway stop complaining - 'Davos is SO last year dahling', and you are now 'in vogue' or 'de rigeur' or 'on-trend' or whatever fatuous adjectives are being used these days to persuade consumers to junk last year's clothes because they just HAVE to have the latest fashions..

  • Comment number 2.

    Congratulations. You've succeeded in getting yourself removed from the Christmas Card list of every world leader in under 250 words (at a guess - I didn't count).

    I posted on Pesto's blog that Davos was a waste of time (# 8, I think). PM's blog is a more humourous way of saying the same thing.

    I particularly like the lunch menu followed by trade protection discussion.

  • Comment number 3.

    Re Gordon and his 11am birthing, try this, it too is meant to be amusing.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Maybe Mr. Barcode could be of assistance with Gordon's long term ambitions for humanity.


  • Comment number 4.

    Another excellent blog, Paul. You have given us a great insight into Davos without incurring the cost of actually going there. Neat. In a rational, cost- and environment-conscious world, the whole Davos gig could have been done by teleconferencing anyway!

  • Comment number 5.


    The bottom line (geddit) was a bit Peston.

  • Comment number 6.

    ....just how many BBC employees are in Davos? i think we should be told. Just why in this day and age is it necessary ...have these so called leaders never heard of teleconferencing?

    i see Robert Peston is there...!

  • Comment number 7.

    Are all those CEOs of Silicon Valley tech companies going to be there - flying in and out on their personal jets leaving just enough time to plug their products and to tell us all why we must be green and help save the planet?

  • Comment number 8.

    We're not heading towards trade protectionism are we?

    That can't happen, because we'd lose all the benefits of globalisation. All the years of hard work would be as nought......

  • Comment number 9.

    Telling the truth requires moderation ?

    Shame on you BBC.


  • Comment number 10.

    Surely Mr. Mason, given your previous Orwell related post, you would realise that the "new world order" ambitions of Mr Brown and his cronies is a subject that should not be "spoofed", as you put it.

    We are being led into a supposed golden age, but surely not in terms of individual freedom, rather in terms of collective humanity, thus forgettting personal freedom and instead all striving towards...

    Try Orwell's Animal Farm for starters.

    cheers, newspaceman

    ps., note to moderators, sorry about last comment, it was not personal, I appreciate Alien was an X certificate, thus perhaps the deletion of the link to my blog.

  • Comment number 11.

    For the avoidance of doubt the following is NOT a spoof.

    Banks launder money from terrorist states and just pay a small fine (for them 250 million I think)

    banks apply punitive bank charges for hihonest mistakes and hop on the bandwagon of the bonus fuelled short term culture of dodgy lending (masked by inumerable fancy new financial instruments).

    despite this all the directorsa keep their bonuses and their knighhoods and OBE's and massive salaries for this great service to society.

    Just for fun lets throw in

    Alledged corruption at the house of lords

    A dodgy 'potential' illegal war in Iraq

    Cash for questions / cash for honours,

    The Dr David Kelly affair

    A police raid without a warrant on a conservative MP's office in the houses of parliament for leaking information the government would rather we did not know for which the Met described him publically as 'grooming' someone in the civil service when he complained about it....

    No actually it was a double bluff, it must be as if you add all that up together we would be out on the streets demanding the ruling elite call an election immediately.


  • Comment number 12.

    why go to the cold when you can go to the caymans and ask fund managers why they say the uk is the worst place in the world?

    does gordon understand uk tax havens are used as bases to launch destabilising bets against the uk?

    is it any wonder the uk is at WW2 levels when they can destroy uk factories with bets just as if an they had bombed them from the air in fleets of aircraft?

  • Comment number 13.


    Jericoa (#11) and bookhimdano (#12) Steve-London posted this link yesterday as the first post to the Tuesady Web-Team blog, and I cited an excerpt from it.

    I repeat this from it:

    "Not just a light touch but a limited touch. Instead of routine regulation attempting to cover all, we adopt a risk based approach which targets only the necessary few.

    A risk based approach helps move us a million miles away from the old assumption - the assumption since the first legislation of Victorian times - that business, unregulated, will invariably act irresponsibly. The better view is that businesses want to act responsibly."

    Does not the end of that beggar belief? It's like expecting career criminals to supervise themselves on licence. Whilst that may sound peculiar, since the Offender Management Act 2008 the Government has pretty much legislated for that too!

  • Comment number 14.

    Davos is a sick joke - not the funny kind for the terminally silly.

    I know you are disappointed not be be dining on swan and fois gras, but to make up for it the BBC has arranged for you to go on a visit to a tractor factory run by a cooperative in the back of beyond. It only takes three weeks walking to get there and there are no amenities - oh and bring your own tent and food and the outside temperature is a high of minus 40 at this time of year.

    With all your colleagues there (and it seems they are all there) perhaps a real news story will break in the real world and you will be there alone!

  • Comment number 15.

    brilliant blog!

    What a gem you are Paul!

    What an insensitive waste of time this Davos summit is-although the food sounds tummy!

    So much for global warming then-all thisflying about jollying while the country burns!

    Why can't they use satellite link conferences eating sandwiches at the office?

    Oh I forgot-they all believe they are able to save the world eating oysters and drinking champagne.

    Being us a doggy bag back Gordy, as a reward for our hard work!

  • Comment number 16.

    Okay, Paul. You're going to have to do something to explain protectionism - why our leaders are worried about it, etc.

  • Comment number 17.


    when you visit the Hotel Souvenir Shop could you bring me back the following CD's from the Gordon Brown Collection

    -How I saved the world

    -No more Boom and Bust

    and the follow-up
    -No more Boom

    plus his other chart-toppers

    -The Bluffers Guide to Economic Theory in 20 minutes

    -How many Beans make Five when Quantitative Easing is applied


    -China can you spare a dime

    many thanks

  • Comment number 18.



    There's also Gordon's Guide to the Galaxy.

  • Comment number 19.



    (Did "you crane" your neck to see Putin deliver his lecture? It was a gas, apparently.)

    Like the best humour, there's more than a grain of truth in all this.

    I just regret posting a funny on Stephanie's blog, not yours'!

  • Comment number 20.

    can we as k Paul to do the budget, I don't mean cover it, I mean write it as he cuts down on all that waffle and isn't it nice to be lecturedby those bastions on rigid authoritarian dogma, the Chinese and the Russians. They have guffawed on the sidelines at the contortions of western governments who resemble bloated fish now being told that thirty years of anorexia are required to bring them back into makes you glad to be socialist

  • Comment number 21.

    An injection of humour. Fabulous!
    Many thanks

  • Comment number 22.

    I think Davos should culminate in an Awards Ceremony. Bankers arriving in chauffeur driven Ladas wearing designer sackcloth and ashes and posing for photos on the red brick road. It would be worth it just to see the look on GBs face when not getting the "Saving the World" Award because it failed at the box office. In the spirit of the Golden Globes, you could call them the Golden Balls - three symmetrically arranged in a triangle to symbolise China's role in the new world order.

  • Comment number 23.

    The strange thing about irony is that it has a nasty habit of becoming the truth!
    Was in my local job centre today, and overheard 2 members of staff discussing the growing rise in the number of claimants complaining that banks were taking all of the claimant's benefit to pay off their-the claimant's-overdraft! I suppose it counts as Government i.e. the taxpayers' money. Aside from the legality of this practice, I have to conclude that bankers are programmed differently from a large section of society.
    Going off to re-read The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist!

  • Comment number 24.

    #23 - helenhey

    Claimants can actually open a Post Office or mutual building society account to avoid that. I am not sure whether you can still opt for giro payments. But as to legality, I believe it is - although not exactly moral. I am not sure it is wise to use the words 'bank' and 'moral' in the same sentence these days.

  • Comment number 25.

    This is not a spoof.I have uncovered evidence of a serious fraud to do with the CITB.Employers are not receiving the funding they are entitled to.This strikes at the very heart of the way our whole society is run.I wondered who would benefit from a recession.I think you would agree.Consruction companies that receive government tenders and are privately owned.Second.Training bodies that are intended to "RETRAIN" an otherwise credible and eager workforce.Most normal people have ambitions to further themselves.What a wonderful opportunity arises from benefiting from such a situation especially if the constuction companies were running the training centres.It is even better if the construction company is primarily involved in building these "Education Centres"financed from pthe publics purse.I believe i have evidence that the CITB and associated trainig centres are fraudulently aquiring funds.I believe that the evidence i have will strike at the very heart of the whole system.Just look at the major privately owned constuction companies that receive enormous government tenders that are involved in the CITB.Fraud is occuring and it involves people in extremely high positions of power

  • Comment number 26.

    I have heard all the conspiracy theories around but heres a new 1.The constuction companies and affiliated Training bodies who benefit from recession are the ones engineering it.They both receive vast amounts of money to train good working class,well purposed people.Free money is available to these institutions to" train" not educate them.When money is available in this way there is always fraud.When you put the two together you get Educationally affiliated bodies for example like the CITB in association witn cskills the govenment funded bodies.Now,constuction companies dont always benefit from recessions.They have landbanks and falling house prices dont help there products and their share prices get hit hard.But consider this;Certain construction companies do benefit.Which?Ones that benifit from large amounts of government money to build Educational facilities.Ones that provide refurbishment contracts for social housing.Ones that build hospitals.And heres the brilliant thing about this .Some of these are privately owned by small numbers of people.And guess what.Totally blameless.They are helping society by retraining the unemployed and recently made jobless.The popular perception is that it is the governments fault.I suggest not.It is the people who own and run these companies.I have evidence of corruption within a training centre that gets funding from the CITB.I wonder how widespread this is?Training and Redevelopment is the way it works.Perhaps the government is involved but i think they are probably nieve enough to think they are helping.I hope i am mistaken but what abrilliant way to engineer vast amounts of wealth at the expense of a simple way of social control.One final thought.What happens to the jobless.They are threatened with having their benefits refused if they dont retrain.Job done.Someones laughing way way past the banks

  • Comment number 27.

    I am awaiting concrete evidence of my allegations of fraud within the Citb which i will have by Monday.I will then be informing the serious fraud squad.It will probably ensure the resignation of the chief executive of the CITB and probably then the EDUCATION MINISTER.And what is really concerning is that it might destroy the whole concept of retraining.Something that can be beneficial.But do we really need NVQs to be a taxi drver or a nail technician.I think not.You'l probably need 1 soon to use the toilet.I feel like weve all been conned and the real sad thing is that the government and most politicians are well meaning good hearted people.Weve just all been conned and if the people responsible are found they want lynching.Good night and God Bless

  • Comment number 28.

    I would like to inform someone at the bbc with the information i have but dont know how to do this confidentially

  • Comment number 29.

    From an early age we have been submitted to an endless stream of propaganda based on the power of FEAR.There has been an endless stream of threats to our wellbeing.As a child it was NUCLEAR WAR.Then it was Aids.Bird Flu.Mad cow disease.And now its Global Warming.Im still here.Yes some of these threats were real.The latest one probably just an Income generator for the government.It is certainly being put on the backburner in the current economic climate.So perhaps the world might survive this one as well.My three year old gets extremly upset by the advert to adopt a polar bear because they are not long for this world.That disgusts me.Gordon Brown has saved the world by spending all our money to bail out the greedy self centred bankers.My biggest fear is that the general public will revolt against the entire system of governing if they realise the way the system of retraining is really being used.Eduction is a marvellous thing.It allows us all to benefit from the ever increasing advances in technology."RETRAINING"It is a fantastic way of educating people who WANT a change of direction in life.BUT when it is the basis for creating massive amounts of profit for a few it is wrong.And the people involved in such a scheme of social engineering and the greed involved in such a concept need dealing with.What is going to happen when the population realise that the whole concept behind RETRAINING is not for self advancement but to engineer a massive amount of income.I sincerely hope that these fears are unjustified because they far outway the fanciful theory of Global Warming.Sorry. during the winter its Climate change.If Antarctica melted the sea level would fall not rise.Icebergs of the sought in Antarctica are less dense than the saltwater they float on.Result;a reduction in level.See what happens with a glass of iced water left overnight.The level drops.try it.Another fear we are subjected to.No the real fear is the consequence and the realisation that as a society we are being conned.How many times do we hear from the unions that its retraining that we need when it is retraining that is being used to create wealth for a few."We're only exploiting the system the government has created" they will say.They might just be the ones responsible for creating the recession.Farfetched.I hope so.Its more probable than i might dare to consider.Codswallop,great. Well lets all benefit because the governments primary job should be to distribute wealth not to a few but to all of us.We would all benefit if it was done correctly.From the age of 14 these institutions receive enormous amounts of money.Built.And then its Traintogain and the CITB.well done chaps.Im glad i didnt think of it

  • Comment number 30.

    "7am. Pro-am Celebrity currency policy snow wrestling: Tim Geithner vs Wen Jia Bao."
    It's a crackerjack, love to see how that turns out.

    "1.30 Discussion. Why we must avoid trade protectionism at all costs"
    Yeah yeah, tell that to Barrack Obama. I certainly don't sense the same spirit in his coming fiscal stimulus package.

  • Comment number 31.

    Firstly may i apologise for boring the pants off most of you.
    Im sure we all know the conspiracy theories relating to war, whereby an economy has been stimulated or family member of the empowered government has profited from going to war by being involved in the production of weapons.As we are aware this has never really been proved and the likelihood of it being proved has always been slim.Weapons of mass destruction.What were the underlying reasons?Repercussions of evidence supporting this would have been something akin to getting your hand slapped in the House of Lords.Purposely profiting from these wars barbaric to say the least.Sorry.I must object to that comment.
    Now, consider profiting from a recession, akin to the one the world is experiencing now.That would be equally barbaric.People who fought for our freedom in world wars unable to keep warm throughout winter.Countless people,hardworking,conscientious people at that, unable to find work and becoming and homeless.Marital discord,oh and a banking crisis.Ah,but nobody saw that one did they.
    And then we have three questions. 1 What caused it? (was it really greedy bankers,was it the governments bad management of the economy)The perception is that both of these are true.
    2 Who benefits.Well, the government created a "LEARNING AND SKILLS COUNCIL".This is designed to educate and retrain the population as a whole. We receive Diplomas from the age of 14 and NVQs in later life.Education is a truly magnificent thing.It nurtures our youth and provides magnificent opportunties for the unemployed.May i say it is a fantastic INDUSTRY.
    CONSRUCTION benefits, or should i say certain construction companies involved in the regeneration and demoralised society in which we find ourselves. Not ones listed on the stock market.You only have to look at the share prices of the"leading companies"and associated Material providers. What about the ones gaining vast amounts of government money that are privately owned.I shall refrain from answering that.What if they could benefit from both Industries Cobbled In Tandem Blamelessly.And what if we could put the blame on someone else.I know .What if we could blame the government?Now thats an idea.We might just get away with that.Do we want to be associated with them?Not really but we have to be to get our brass.Hey but if we can persuade them we are helping people by retraining them it might just work.Dare we do it?Cause a massive worldwide recession and benefit from it.I THINK THEY HAVE.Will they get caught time will tell.

    So,is it the banks fault. Perhaps.So is it the governments fault.Im not sure.They basically are good well meaning people who will probably be out of a job come the next election.Same as most of us.

    3rd Question. I dont know if i can ask this .I might need an NVQ to do so.But then again i know how to, so why do i need one.
    What happens when the people who reside in this country,the people who only want a simple life orientated around going out and providing for their families realise what is happening.Furthermore what happens to the people IF they are Caught?"we were only trying to help."Yes, i believe you SIR.So show us your bank balance.Sorry for waffling and apologies for the grammar and spelling.I do need that NVQ.Here beginneth the END

  • Comment number 32.

    Also - discussion between US investment bankers in the bar about the next 'originate & distribute' scam to replace the now no longer functioning (unfortunatley, in their opinion) CDOs and sub-prime racket.

    Apparently, already, new 'products' are being devised by the scammers (sorry, investment consultants) to rip-off more unsuspecting fools.

  • Comment number 33.

    Back on top form, Paul, priceless.

    Pity no ogling involved this time.. guess it's winter..

  • Comment number 34.

    #29 social engineering

    I am interested to read what you say but it is hard to follow, read it back, you will see what I mean. Split it up with paragraphs, more people will read it that way.

    I am not trying to be pedantic just trying to help you get your message accross.


  • Comment number 35.

    11. At 6:39pm on 28 Jan 2009, Jericoa wrote:

    'Banks launder money from terrorist states and just pay a small fine'

    now that that particuLlar bank is no longer in the money Llaundering business, who are they siphoning their money through now
    (the terrorists that is)

    What other banks have influence in that geographical part of the world ?

  • Comment number 36.

    Paul Mason:
    Thanks for the clearance about the remarks were meant to be a joke...

    I am sorry that the BBC Rules didn't allow you, to attend the Davos Conference this year....

    And, by the way; interesting remarks about the parties in attendance....

    ~Dennis Junior~

  • Comment number 37.

    i always feel myself cheering when i read what jericoa posts. change has to come!


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